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Onan honored with Friend of the County Agent award

Greg Blonde, left, presents the 2014 Friend of the County Agent Award to Gary Onan.

Gary Onan, professor of animal and food science at UW-River Falls, recently received the 2014 Friend of the County Agent award by the Wisconsin Association of County Agricultural Agents. The award recognizes individuals or organizations that provide support and assistance to the county-based extension programs.

“Gary’s support for Wisconsin county livestock judging for the past 17 years (beef, sheep, swine and meat projects), including 20-30 live animal or carcass shows every summer throughout the state, is truly extraordinary for a faculty member without an Extension appointment,” said Greg Blonde, agriculture agent for Waupaca County. “As the Animal and Food Science Department Chair at UWRF, Gary is also very supportive of other UWRF faculty working with UW-Extension faculty and staff around the state to help support various livestock producer/industry outreach programs.”

Onan has been at UWRF since 1997.  In 2006 his colleagues honored him with their Outstanding Teacher Award. He is a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists and earned the Professional Animal Scientist designation in 2006.

Onan is also a member of the American Society of Animal Science, serving several years as chair of the Midwest Section Academic Quadrathlon Committee, along with advising the UWRF Academic Quadrathlon Team.  He also advises the UWRF chapter of the Association of Women in Agriculture.

He has supervised numerous undergraduate research projects, including some within the McNair Scholars Program.  In the international arena, Onan has served as a mentor in the Romanian Young Visiting Scientist Program and most recently co-led a group of students to Nicaragua in January 2014 as part of a study tour in collaboration with the Universidad Nacional Agraria.